Toyota's Lagging Lexus and Scion Brands



At least for me, it is not a question of affording it. I honestly can't see why anyone wants one. IF I wanted a performance/luxury car, I'd go for a BMW. At least the Germans know how to make a good performing car with decent ergonomics. Toyota has a nack for making cars large on the outside and cramped on the inside. But to be honest, I am not a BMW sort of guy. I like a nice comfortable car with decent performance, but I am not going to drive on the autobahn and I don't need to impress anyone with how much money I can waste on a second rate car.
Ed
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What do you drive, Ed?
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A 3 year old Ford Fusion at the moment (I am very happy with this car V6/AWD/SEL). Ialso have a relatively new F150 that replaced a Nissan Frontier that I finally couldn't stand anymore. I have owned lots of differ things over the years: Here is the list as best I can remember, in the order i owned them:
1972 Ford Pinto - bought new 1975 Datsun 280Z - bought new when I graduated from college, drove it for 3 years and 50k miles. It had numerous minor problems (clutch mechanism, fuel injection, rust) but i loved it jsut the same. 1962 Austin Healey Sprite - used, bought in pieces, sold it when I left Raleigh for a job 1968 Austin Heakey Sprite - used, it ran, but I never licenced it 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura Coupe - bought new - this car was dead reliable and fast, but I hated it 1972 Ford Pinto - actually I reacquired my original Pinto from my sister to use as an autocross car - it was a great cheap car 1974 Jensen-Healey - bought used. Eventually I grew tired of the buzzzing on long trips and sold it. It required constant maintenace. 1973 Ford Pinto - bought used when I wrecked the 74 JH, drove it for a few months, then sold it to a co-worker. His kids drove it for almost 8 more years 1978 Ford Courier - Gift from my Father (used). It was a horrible truck..... 1974 Jensen-Healey - a rolling wreck that I basically stored for a decade 1981 Plymouth Relaint - Drove great, when it wasn't broken. I traded it after 9 months of ownership 1981 Audi Coupe - I loved this car, but for some reason only kept it for a couple of years (brain fade) 1983 Mazda 626 - Never should have bought this car. I hated it from day 2, but my Sister drove it for 8 years 1978 Ford Fiesta - acquired from my Sister in a swap for the Mazda - I loved this car, except no A/C 1975 Jensen-Healey - bought used, drove for a couple of years. Sold it when I got married (should have kept the car instead) 1986 Mercury Sable - a terrific car that I drove for 10 years and 147,000 miles. A co-worker drove it for another 100,000 miles. 1983 Toyota Cressida - it came with my ex-wife. It was a rolling turd. Crappy interior, cramped, bad plastic, bad paint, rust problems, horrible A/C. This was the worst POS I ever had to drive. It was even more unreliable than the Plymouth Reliant K, but drove horribly. I can't see how Toyota survied build crap like this. 1986 Ford Ranger - Gift from my Father. Eventually destroyed by a falling tree 1989 Ford Taurus Wagon - Bought new, left with the ex-wife 1992 Ford F150 - Bought new. Drove it for 14 years. Great truck. 1996 Ford Explorer - Bought new, but after a year I decided to move up to an Expedition, sold the Explorer for within $2K of what it cost me. 1997 Ford Expedition - Kept for 5 years and 150,000 miles. Great truck, two problems in 150,000 miles (coil pack at 100k, alternator at 120K) 2001 Ford Mustang GT Convertible - Bought new. I loved this car, but decided it had to go when my son turned 16. 40K miles with one problem (oil leak, fixed under warranty) 2003 Ford Expedition -Bought new. As good as the 1997, but I only kept it for 3 years and 100,000 miles. I decided I no longer needed a big SUV. 2003 Saturn Vue - I bought this new to replace the Mustang. I intended it to be my Son's car. After he destroyed the transmission (CVT - under warranty) and the air bag assembly (beating on the horn), I dumped it. 2004 Ford Thunderbird - Bought barely used. I loved this car. For some crazy reason I only lept it for 2 years. On the plus side, it never broke and I sold it for almost what I paid for it. I'd really like to have another.... 2006 Nissan Frontier - my attempt at downsizing trucks - the truck had plenty of power, but it was uncomfortbale inside. It had a few problems. After 3 years and 70k miles I finally got tired of being crammed into it and traded it off.
1996 Pontiac Firebird - Bought used. My son talked me into buying this POS to replace the Saturn. It had the little V6 and could barely get out of it's own way. It had so many problems that I never worried about him geting in trouble driving it. 2006 Mustang V6 Coupe - Bought new. I finally had to get my son a reliable car. V6 Mustang Coupes were dirt cheap (less than $16K new). He was happy, I was happy, until he started getting speeding tickets.....live and learn. 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis. This was my Mothers car. I thought I would keep it after I sold the Thunderbird. After 3 months of drving it, I couldn't take it anymore and traded it on a Fusion. 2007 Ford Fusion - Bought new. This is my current car. 55K miles without a problem. Very comfortable. Performance is decent. Fuel economy could be better. 2008 Mazda 3 - Bought this new for my older son to drive when he started staying with me. It is amazingly roomy inside. My Son compalins that the A/C is not strong enough and that he deosn't get 35 mpg. Oh well.... 2009 F150 SuperCab - after suffering in the Nissan Frontier for three eyars, I finally got fed up and traded it on this F150. It is so much better it is hard to believe I ever talked myself into the Frontier. Both have 4WD. The Frontier was a V6 and if you were racing between stoplights it was awesome. However the gas mileage of the Frontier was less than 1 mpg better than the much larger (and far more comfortable) F150. The F150 can haul much more, rides much better, and so far hasn't had a single problem (well except for a flat tire last Wed).
In addition to this list, there are numerous other "family vehicels" - 4 Toyotas, 2 VWs, numerous older Ford Trucks, a Freestyle, several LTDs, Dodge Truck, 5 different Ford Rangers, etc. I am the family car guy, so I get to work on all of them. If I was rating brands, I think Plymouth/Dodge would be the worst and Ford the best. SOmething like..
Worst to best - Chrysler, GM, VW, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Ford. The recent Toyotas have been much more reliable than the '83 Cressida, but they still have horrible ergonomics, bland styling, and drive like riding lawn mowers. Nissans have a little more style but I don't think they are as reliable. I mostly don't like Mazdas becasue of the '83 626 and the Ford Courier (really a Mazda). No one in my family will buy a VW for any reason, even though I liked the Audi. Both of my Sisters suffered through VWs - they drove great but were unreliable. The SO's daugher has a Jetta and it is hated as well. Two out of two GM products were crap. No way I'll buy a Chrysler, or a Fiat badged as a Chrysler. But to be honest, the difference from worst to best in my list aren't all that great. I'd even consider a new Camaro....
If I was going to buy a car right now, at this moment - it would prbably be a Nissan 370Z. I like them. I am afraid to go near a Nissan car lot becasue I'd be tempeted to buy one. Next choice would be a 2010 Taurus (especailly the SHO, but it is too over-priced ...I think). I also spend a lot of time looking at used 2004/2005 Thunderbirds. I miss my 2004, especially in the spring and fall. I do wonder about some the Korean cars too. The Genesis looks pretty good for a good price.
Oh well, for now I need to ride with what I have.
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I see your problem now. You're very opinionated in your tastes and find it difficult, if not impossible, to comprehend that other people might have different tastes than your own.
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Look in the mirror, z boy. That defines you perfectly.
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wrote:

Actually, when I wrote that, I was thinking that I could have just as easily said that about you. What a hoot!
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I don't see anything wrong with having an opinion. You haev yours, I have mine. I certainly understand that people have different tastes. Is there something wrong with expressing my opinion? Do you only want to hear the "Toyota is awesome" mantra?
I find somethings illogical. Paying more for Toyotas becasue they say "Lexus" is one of those illogical things. I can comprehend buying the LS Lexus since they don't sell the Toyota equivalent here (I think in Japan it is the Toyota Crown Majesta), but I'll never understand the appeal of the ES350 (thinly disquised Camry), GX (4Runner in drag), LX (Land Crusier with glitz), or the RX line (since Toyota now sells the Venza). Without those models (particualrly the EX and RX) there would be no Lexus, since all the other models together don't sell enough cars to justify separate dealerships.
Ed
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Typo alert - I mean ES, not EX....
Ed
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True, if you truly decide it on that basis.
But too often, you can't get the trim level/feature sets on the Toyota Camry that you can get on the Lexus ES. That's just how Toyota does things. The ES is, by and large, a higher trim level/feature set.
So, to get the feature set you want, you are forced to go to Lexus. It's not just because there's an L on the back of the thing. If Toyota offered the exact same feature set, I'd buy it. But they don't, so if I want that feature set, I'm forced to take the L with it.
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wrote:

Unfortunately, the "L" adds thousands more than the real value of the upgrades. If people refused to pay thousands extra for what is essentially a Camry with a higher trim package, Toyota would quit screwing them. I understand the desire for nicer appointments. I don't understand the willingness to pay thousands more for a few hundred dollars worth of fluff. Just becasue you can afford it, doesn't make it logical. I guess PT Barnum was right.
Ed
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Only to bad negotiators.

Everything's negotiable. Toyota isn't screwing anyone. People who want those trim packages are apparently willing to pay a price that YOU'RE not willing to pay; that doesn't mean they're being screwed. It just means you're envious of them and their ability to get that stuff.
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On Tue, 4 Aug 2009 08:17:55 -0400, "C. E. White"

And in a USA Today poll of 100 automotive journalists from across the country, they list the Lexus GS as the best luxury sedan, dollar for dollar.
My guess is they're more objective and more informed than you are.
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Between a Lexus (that we get in the UK) and a BMW, the BMW is the second rate car.
--
Clive

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writes

But yet BMWs far outsell Lexus. In my mind, the only reason to buy a car like a BMW or Lexus in the US is to impress your friends. And at leat to me, a BMW is a lot more impressive. No matter how they spin it, a Lexus is just a Toyota. Not that that is a bad thing, but not an impressive thing either. If a Toyota is what you like, I can't see paying thousands extra for a Toyota becasue it is called a Lexus.
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

Then you should never get a Lexus. You are paying for luxury and nice creature features.
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In the case of the ES you are mostly paying for slightly better plastic trim, a little more sound deadening, and an "L" on the trunk lid. The V6 Lexus has essentially the same performance as the V6 Camry, is a little quieter, but has little less interior room becasue of the puffed up seats and slightly worse handling becasue of the softer suspension. BUT most importantly, it costs over $6K more....a fools bargin if you ask me.
Ed
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On Fri, 31 Jul 2009 11:11:58 -0400, "C. E. White"
This is simoply not true.

This is flat out ludicrous. Both companies make nice cars, and they cost more than other cars because of that. Have you ever driven a BMW or Lexus? If you can't appreciate the difference between a BMW or Lexus and a Ford Focus, and think people only buy them to impress people, you're an idiot.

Just because a couple of Lexus models are based on Toyota platforms doesn't mean a Lexus is a Toyota. You pay more because you get more. Is an Acura a Honda, too? Do you see no difference between Infiniti and Nissan?
Upscale brands come with more standard equipment and better performance. They cost more for reasons that are obvious to anyone but you. If you can't afford them, or don't feel they're worth it, doesn't mean that the people who do are getting fleeced. You get what you pay for.
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wrote:

In the US, Lexus and BMW sell about the same number of vehicles. However, worldwide there is no comparison. BMW outsells the Lexus brand more than 2 to 1.

The Lexus models sold here are Toyotas models in other markets. Ditto for Infiniti. I defnintely think an Acura is a Honda although Honda has done a better job of differentiating the Acura models from the related Honda models, but underneath, they are still closely related while the prices are not....
Ed

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Our cars may not be the same as yours, for instance, Lexus cars are always the most reliable car in our "Which?" magazine surveys (a magazine that accepts no adverts and works alongside European governments trades standards offices). To quote the magazine, "Japanese aren't just among the most reliable brands, they are the most reliable brands". Just a quick look conforms that there is no connection between the Lexus IS brands in the UK and the Toyota Camry.
--
Clive

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snipped-for-privacy@yewbank.demon.co.uk says...

In the US, the ES is a FWD equivalent model and runs along side the IS RWD model and is indeed based on the Camry. We never got it here, so I have never been able to see the spec differences/similarities.
But I love my IS even if it is a bit underpowered compared to the Toyota and SAAB turbos I have gotten used to, and the loverly big LS400/Celsior I used stroll arround in.
--
Carl Robson
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